NJC was founded as the Junior Chamber to the Commercial Club for men ages 17-25
Junior Chamber organized a Glee Club and Industrial School Library, Committees on Industrial Expansion, Health and Sanitation, Safety Conversion, City Planning, Reforestation, and Cumberland River development
Projects in the 30s included Get Out the Vote, Little Buddie’s Night, Red Cross, Smoke Prevention, and Child Welfare Maximum membership was raised to 35 during tough economic times to keep a larger membership. 1937 – Submitted the application for membership in the ‘Jaycees,” Official organization name was then The Young Men’s Division of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce 1939 – Junior Chamber resigned from the United States Chamber of Commerce and has since been exclusively Nashville-oriented
1941 – Throughout the Second World War, Junior Chamber backed the war effort with programs like “Keep ‘Em Flying,” 1944 – On Thanksgiving Day, an All-Star Football game was held at Vanderbilt with proceeds going to Thayer General Hospital. This started a long history of holding annual Football games for Charity. 1948 – In November, the Nashville Junior Chamber of Commerce (now the official name) started a drive to open a Physiotherapy Clinic at Vanderbilt.
1950 – The first Clinic Bowl was held. 1955 – Junior Chamber adopts a Little League baseball program called Knothole Baseball, they agreed to provide shirts and caps for the first year, with uniforms to follow in subsequent years. 1959 – Vanderbilt began plans for new construction which would house the Junior Chamber of Physical Therapy Clinic, the result of continuing proceeds from Clinic Bowl games.
1960 – Clinic Bowl proceeds exceeded $50,000 for the first time 1961 – Junior Chamber was instrumental in bringing the Better Business Bureau to Nashville. 1962 – Junior Chamber played an active role in the referendum which approved the governments of Nashville and Davidson County to become the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County. 1965 – Innaugural Pro-Celebrity Golf Tournament. 1967 – The Junior Chamber issued one of its rare endorsements for local referendums by endorsing ‘Liquor by the Drink.’ 1968 – Junior Chamber Charities, Inc. was created for funding charitable endeavors. 1969 – Clinic Bowl total proceeds had exceeded $700,000.
1978 – Lee Beaman began an important Clinic Bowl tradition by donating a car to the cause. Alice Cooper, Johnny Cash, Flip Wilson, and Evil Knievel played in the Pro-Celebrity Golf Tournament. 1979 – A motion was passed to allow women to join the organization. In March, women were finally admitted.
1980 – Started the Music City Chili Cook-Off, a fundraiser for Buddies of Nashville (Big Brother/Big Sister organization), 1985 – NJC created the Middle Tennessee Scottish Festival as a fundraising event for Oasis center.
1993 – NJC created a new fundraiser for the Zoo called ZooFest. Over 10,000 people attended. 1997 – Kim Bradley becomes the first female Presdient of the NJC. 1999 – Ragin Cajun Crawfish Boil (RCCB) fundraiser was started
2014 – NJC donates over $7,000 to Thistle Farms, our 2013-14 Charity of the Year. 2015 – RCCB sells out Cumberland Park with over 2,500 attendees. 2015 – NJC donates $10,000 to our Charity of the Year, Special Olympics of Tennessee. 2015 – NJC selects Safe Haven Family Shelters for our 2015-16 Charity of the Year.
The NJC will celebrate our 95th Anniversary with a huge Gala in June!